Champion of Justice Award to Hillary Clinton

Public Justice, a non profit that litigates against “purveyors of corporate corruption, sexual abusers and harassers, and polluters who ravage the environment,” has decided to give it’s Champion of Justice Award to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

This did not sit well with reporters, academics and activists who have studied Secretary Clinton’s record.

“Clinton has always been a war hawk,” said Aisha Jumaan, President of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Project. “During her tenure at the State Department, arms sales to Saudi Arabia increased by about 100%. These arms have been used against the Yemeni people since the Saudi started their aggression on Yemen in March 2015. In 2011, her aide congratulated her for pushing through arms sales to Saudi Arabia calling it a ‘Christmas gift.’”

Former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, author of the best selling book War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning (Public Affairs, 2002) and the upcoming The Greatest Evil is War (Seven Stories Press, 2022) told Corporate Crime Reporter – “let the corporate interests Hillary Clinton serves give her encomiums and financial rewards, not those she betrayed.”

“We know who Hillary Clinton is from the 70,000 hacked emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and senior Democratic officials released by WikiLeaks,” Hedges said. “The emails, copied from the accounts of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, exposed the donation of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the major funders of Islamic State. They exposed that Hillary Clinton in 2009 ordered US diplomats to spy on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other U.N. representatives from China, France, Russia, and the UK, spying that included obtaining DNA, iris scans, fingerprints, and personal passwords, part of the long pattern of illegal surveillance that included the eavesdropping on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the weeks before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.”

“They exposed that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the CIA orchestrated the June 2009 military coup in Honduras that overthrew the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya, replacing it with a murderous and corrupt military regime. They exposed the $657,000 that Goldman Sachs paid to Hillary Clinton to give talks.”

“They exposed Clinton’s repeated mendacity. She was caught in the emails, for example, telling the financial elites that she wanted ‘open trade and open borders’ and believed Wall Street executives were best positioned to manage the economy, a statement that contradicted her campaign statements. They exposed the Clinton campaign’s efforts to influence the Republican primaries to ensure that Donald Trump was the Republican nominee. They exposed Clinton’s advanced knowledge of questions in a primary debate. They exposed Clinton as the principal architect of the war in Libya, a war she believed would burnish her credentials as a presidential candidate.”

Hedges said that “Hillary Clinton is, and has always been, an abject servant of the billionaire class, a politician who cares little about justice for the victims of the wars she supported in the Middle East, the mothers and children who lost welfare benefits under the administration of Bill Clinton, or the workers who lost jobs and saw their communities destroyed under NAFTA and other trade deals.”

“She is an enemy of economic, social and political justice. She has already been amply rewarded for that. She and Bill Clinton left the White House with over $1 million in debt from legal bills. They are now worth over $120 million.”

Public Justice executive director Paul Bland defended the decision to give Clinton the award. Clinton will accept the award via video link at the group’s 40th anniversary gala on July 18 in Seattle, Washington.

“Our current leadership was entirely supportive of honoring Secretary Clinton,” Bland said. “She was a very positive force for access to justice, opposing the Class Action Fairness Act, supporting the early versions of the Arbitration Fairness Act, supporting legal services.”

“As the organization is increasingly focused on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, she was an important voice for women’s rights, and focused a lot of her effort as Secretary of State on aspects of human rights that our country had largely ignored before her on the international stage,” Bland said.

But Bruce Fein, a public interest lawyer and author of American Empire Before the Fall, called on Public Justice to reconsider its decision to give Clinton the award.

“Public celebrities or public figures, for good or for ill or a blend, teach people by example,” Fein said. “Their lives cannot be fragmented on that score. The whole must be examined, and grievous faults outweigh less momentous benevolence or accomplishments.”

“Bill Cosby’s serial predation of women disqualifies him from a race relations or indeed any other public interest award.”

“The case of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, more to the point, underscores Hillary Clinton’s unfitness for the Public Justice award. LBJ brought into being the Office of Economic Opportunity, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, Executive Order 11246 for federal government contractors, affirmative action, the appointment of Thurgood Marshall to the United States Supreme Court, and other measures to end and remediate a century of Jim Crow punctuated by thousands of black lynchings.”

“Yet his unforgivable Vietnam War crimes and dissembling and ethical obtuseness disqualified President Johnson for race-relations, human rights accolades or trophies,” Fein said.

“Martin Luther King turned against LBJ over the war, and likened his tactics in Vietnam to Nazi war crimes. The NAACP refrained from laureling LBJ with race relations trophies or medals.”

“Hillary Clinton is an a fortiori case. Her war crimes horrors continue to haunt the world to this very day, including the resistance of Iran and North Korea to nuclear deescalation upon witnessing Clinton’s gloating over Gaddafi’s overthrow and assassination after he had abandoned weapons of mass destruction.”

Fein said that Public Justice’s “effort to surgically remove Hillary Clinton’s good works from a torso of malignant injustice and disdain for the law doesn’t cut muster.”

“How can it be denied that bestowing on Hillary Clinton a Public Justice award will be popularly perceived as valorizing and saluting her entire life? Awards do not lend themselves to footnotes or reservations.”

Fein said that “crowning Hillary Rodman Clinton with the Public Justice Award in 2022 ranks with laureling Henry Kissinger with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.”

“Secretary Clinton engineered the war crime of aggression against Libya in 2011 culminating with her Caesar-like triumphalist, ‘We came, we saw, he [Muammar Gaddafi] died.’”

“Ms. Clinton’s crime turned Libya into a Hobbesian wilderness earmarked by human trafficking, slavery, and thousands of drowning deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. She urged a reprise of her calamitous crime against Syria. She took Orwellian to a new level in effusing over her Libyan criminal debacle as ‘smart power at its best.’”

“Ms. Clinton exhibited her signature professional and moral obtuseness in declining to suspend the foreign-money-dominated Clinton Foundation during her service as Secretary of State and candidacy for the presidency. Among other things, the Foundation received tens of millions in donations from an all star roster of despotic states seeking to curry favor: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Brunei.”

“That Ms. Clinton lost the 2016 presidential race to an open, notorious, misogynist, vulgar, unschooled, scofflaw speaks volumes about the public’s distrust of her character.”

“If there are worse choices for the Public Justice award than Hillary Clinton, they do not readily come to mind.”

In a March 2016 article titled Hillary Clinton’s Support for the Iraq War Was No Fluke, Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin wrote that “when Clinton announced her second campaign for the presidency, she declared she was entering the race to be the champion for ‘everyday Americans.’”

“As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of everyday people abroad,” Benjamin wrote. “As commander-in-chief, there’s no reason to believe she’d be any less a war hawk than she was as the senator who backed George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, or the secretary of state who encouraged Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan.”

“Clinton may well have been the administration’s most vociferous advocate for military action. On at least three crucial issues – Afghanistan, Libya, and the bin Laden raid – she took a more aggressive line than Defense Secretary Gates, a Bush-appointed Republican.”

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..